NEW YORK ABC said today it would offer live Nielsen Media Research ratings guarantees to advertisers in the upfront, but said it was only "one of the options advertisers may consider during this year's upfront."
Sources said ABC sales president Mike Shaw had no choice but to alter his hard-line position to only do business based on Live Plus 7 Day ratings (which include DVR playback data) because the other networks had decided to do business using live-only ratings.
ABC in a statement also said it "continues to believe strongly in the worth of the 'Live Plus' viewer, and will continue its efforts to include this audience."
While no one at ABC would comment further, media agency executives said ABC was planning to offer incentives to those agencies that agreed to give some value to "Live Plus" ratings. Shaw was unavailable for comment.
Meanwhile, the other networks have confirmed that budgets from many agencies have been registered and upfront negotiations about price are under way.
Nielsen Media Research is a unit of Adweek parent VNU.